Sunday, February 22, 2015

Fragrance Lake Half Marathon

Saturday Neil and I headed south to the USA to participate in the Fragrance Lake Trail Half Marathon. We always allow extra time to account for the border crossing. It's about 1.5 hour drive from home if all is smooth sailing at the border. The border line up was minimal so we arrived in plenty of time. We took the opportunity to fill up the monster truck with the cheap American fuel - it's almost half the cost of Canadian fuel! 

For the event you park at the finish and walk to the start which is across Chuckanutt Drive. Somewhat confusing but thankfully we were here in November for another half marathon so we were familiar with the area. 

It was a cold morning around 4 degrees C but clear skies and no rain - yah!! The event has about 3500 feet of climbing. So it is not your typical half marathon event. One trail was called the "Rock Trail". We started climbing and running past rocks as big as houses. We deduced this must be the "Rock Trail". Neil and I did the event together as we have done many events before. This year we are celebrating  our 25th wedding anniversary so we are planning a few trail events together. It's going to be a team effort! �� Our Anniversary date is in June where we will celebrate with 100km's on the trail together at Vancouver 100. (More details of the event to come!) 

Here's the  Fragrance Lake Half Marathon course profile: 

These trails have a unique mud to them that is super slippery. We don't have this kind of mud in Vancouver �� so it always adds to the fun factor when on these trails. 

Some of the trails were familiar from previous events we have participated in although we were going in the opposite direction which made them appear "new" to us! We enjoyed the day together with spectacular views of the Cascade Mountains and coastal views of the state of Washington. The trail was well marked and it was a well organized event on very nice trails. 

Happy Trails! 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Super Bowl Weekend

We are not avid football fans despite the Seattle Seahawks being in the Super Bowl this weekend. Seattle is the closest NFL team to Vancouver and excitement filled the city. Game day was wet so we were somewhat tempted to stay indoors and watch the game. We overcame the temptation to sit in front of the TV and enjoyed a peaceful trail run from Riverside Road on the Baden Powell. Both the rain and the game must have kept folk at home. We had the trails to ourselves which was very special. We called it quits when we started to feel a bit chilled from being so wet after 1.5 hours. 

Saturday I joined Craig and Lynette for a hike on another section of the Baden Powelll from Skyline Drive where we did an out and back. The Baden Powell trail can be accessed from many points to do a section of the trail for training runs. 

                             Craig and Lynette Baden Powell Trail 

Earlier this week we witnessed a beautiful sunset on the Pitt Meadows Dyke while out for a run. A motor boat had just gone by and created the wake. 

                                      Pitt Meadows Dykes 
          Fergus and I enjoying the view on the Pitt Meadows Dykes. 

This week I did 2 Spin classes, 1 TRX class, 5 runs and 1 hike. Trying to keep the wheels turning! 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Mosquitoes in January?

The Pineapple Express from Hawaii has been providing us with extremely wet and warm weather here in Vancouver. The term Pineapple Express sounds much more glamorous with images of Hawaiian fruit and cocktails arriving via the jet stream. What it really means is torrential rain, high humidity and warm temperatures. Almost all the snow on the local mountains has disappeared so snow shoeing has turned into rock shoeing! 

Today Neil, Dave and I did a 2.5 hour run on the Dirty Duo route in 15 degrees Celsius with very high humidity. It was a sweaty one! We were greeted by a hatch of mosquitoes near the creeks. I hope the wasps stay underground. Weather forecast is for more of the same. Perhaps next January we should just go to Hawaii! 

This week I did 4 spin classes, 1 TRX class, 1 sea wall walk, and 3 runs. Hoping to get outside more next week. 

Dave and I on one of the many slippery board walks on this route. 

Happy Robbie Burns Day! 

Fergus enjoying some Haggis! 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Bye Bye January Blues!

Snowshoeing on Mt. Seymour with Dave and Neil.
The lights on the ski runs lighting up the sky and the snow.
Fergus and I on the Buntzen Lake trail. He is small but strong and mighty - wow can he take me for a run!
 We are over the jet lag, the colds and the thick fog covering Vancouver has finally lifted. All great excuses to interfere with a runners motivation. It is half way through January and we are now starting to incorporate longer runs into our weekends. Last weekend we completed 2 hours on the Dirty Duo route and today we did 2 hours at Buntzen Lake on the Diez Vista route.The Dirty Duo and Diez Vista are 2 upcoming 50km events I plan to participate in.
The spinning classes throughout the winter have helped. I'm trying to join 3-4 spin classes/week, 1 TRX class/week and to get out for 4-5 runs/week. Last Friday night Neil, Dave and I enjoyed snowshoeing up Mt. Seymour. Hopefully this week will bring more snow to the mountains and we can go again soon. I really enjoy an evening snowshoe outing. We wear our headlamps and it is very peaceful and of course a great workout. Occasionally we enjoy a little mulled wine along the route!
The terrain at Buntzen is a bit rocky but Fergus just flies over it!
I do my best to keep up!
Happy Trails!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My Marcothon moved from Loch Ness to Edinburgh and then back to Vancouver

After leaving the Inverness area we spent a few more days in Edinburgh. We started each day with a run. Neil and Graeme did an early morning speed run. I chose a later start on my own and a more leisurely pace. The weather was very nice, cold and clear.
We returned back to Vancouver last night. I had my final Marcothon run this morning in Golden Ears Park. Wow - it was a quick 10 day trip. Now the challenge will be to try and stay awake until midnight tonight to bring in the New Year. The 8 hour time difference and 9 hour flight from London always makes the first few days at home tough. The Champagne is chilling, Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

My Marcothon moved from Edinburgh to Loch Ness

Before leaving Edinburgh to spend Christmas at Loch Ness, we enjoyed another run on the Salisbury Crags in the morning.
On December 24th, Christmas Eve we headed out to go up Meallfuarvonie.  This round top hill is the highest peak around the shores of Loch Ness at 2283feet. It is a classic feature when viewing the loch from all directions.  Neil has always had his eye on hiking this hill and Christmas Eve was the day we set out to do this. We bundled up well and Neil carried a pack with extra gear.  One thing I didn't bring with me from home was proper foot wear for this type of outing. Note my light trainers!
As we climbed the temperature dropped and the wind picked up. It was snowy and icy underfoot although if you broke through, it was wet and boggy. I was starting to whine about my feet being frozen and of course it landed on deaf ears. No sympathy from the Ambrose brothers!
The conditions soon turned|arctic like and we were really facing the challenges of mother nature.  Neil reckons the winds at the summit were 120km/hr plus.  It was a white out blizzard and so the obligator stone was added to the cairn and a hasty retreat was hastened to lower ground.   
Things calmed down for the return journey and we were treated to nice views of Loch Ness. We were all happy to reach the car and quickly change out of our wet clothes. It was a memorable Scottish outing!
Christmas morning we woke to a beautiful sunny crisp day. We decided to go up Mealldonne a
 short drive from Graeme and Fiona's house.
Mealldonne the goal for today.
Frost underfoot - nice views!
That's snow covered Meallfuarvonie rising above the clouds where we were yesterday.

The top had a bit of snow and ice but nothing like yesterday's outing.
Happy Christmas to All!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

My Marcothon moves from Vancouver to Edinburgh

It was a very good start for the journey from Vancouver to Edinburgh with an upgrade to First Class on British Airways!
Enjoying a coffee at Starbucks on the Royal Mile to get kick started and over the jet lag.
More Starbucks for me too!
My Marcothon today took place by running down the Royal Mile in Edinburgh with an out and back at the bottom of the Salisbury Crags and then back up the Royal Mile to St. Giles Street. Dinner with family was calling!
I ran past the Scottish Parliament.
Back to our accommodation. It gets dark here early at this time of year. Good thing I brought my head lamp! Happy Christmas!